Raj & Roshini's Wedding in Abu Dhabi, UAE
What started as a hysterical encounter for Raj and Roshini, blossomed into love during university days. Roshini reveals details of a glitzy wedding in UAE.
How we met:
Raj and I met at his house party in December 2009 during our second year in university. He was very curious to learn about Sindhis based in Hong Kong and was even more amused with my relatively drunk cousin, with whom he ended up chanting songs in Sindhi with. The night ended hysterically with my cousin and him breaking his bathroom door! I somehow knew that I had left an impression on him and this definitely, wasn’t going to be our last meeting.
The following months saw us bumping into each other a couple of times at different occasions – we always seemed to have some chemistry and loved a little banter with good chat, but nothing really happened till he moved into the same halls of residence as me in September 2010. To this date Raj would deny it but he was texting me a lot right before moving in to halls, I could sense he was interested….and trying to charm his way into my life.
As magical as the wedding was, the whole planning process leading up to the events was very tough. As a person, I am quite particular about the minutest of things, detail-oriented and an all-round perfectionist – this made the planning process quite straightforward at times, but it was equally difficult to meet my requirements most of the time.
I spent a lot of time and energy in deep contemplation, envisioning our events to be a depiction of Raj and myself during our courtship years. Our goal was simple: we wanted to create a magical and memorable experience for both our family and friends, by blending the best of our backgrounds and taking our guests through a journey of our love and what we love the most. We wanted a wedding that struck the perfect balance between fun, class and an intimate experience with our loved ones.
In total, we had approximately 450 guests staying in-house, with most of the guests from my side and some mutual friends visiting the Middle-East for the first time. Hence, we wanted to ensure that our wedding reflected and delivered as much of the local cultural experience as possible.
Bhajans – Bridal outfit: Elan
Mehendi – Bridal outfit: Falguni & Shane Peacock
Welcome Dinner – Bridal outfit: Shivani Awasty | Grooms Outfit: Anup Bhargava
Rave Afterparty – Bridal outfit: Koesch & Topshop (shorts)
Ghari Pooja – Bridal outfit: Meeta Mulchandani
Sangeet – Bridal outfit: Sonia Sawney | Grooms Outfit: Shringaar (Shakeel)
Wedding – Bridal outfit: Sonia Sawney | Grooms Outfit: Shringaar (Shakeel)
Reception – Bridal outfit: Shivani Awasty | Grooms Tux: Bobbys Fashions
Since we had our engagement ceremony in Hong Kong, we had decided very early on we wanted to host the wedding somewhere close to Raj’s home country, Bahrain. I had my eyes on the Ritz Carlton Grand Canal, Abu Dhabi property, before we even got engaged. Luckily, the property was perfect as it met most, if not all, of our requirements. Note that this was after 16 hotel property viewings across both Dubai and Abu Dhabi that we concluded in opening conversations with the Ritz Carlton – for me, it was like a dream come true!
Based on our required order of functions of 10 different events across a 4 day period, we thought it would be easier for our guests (and us!) to host all the events at a single venue and hence, create a consistent and unified experience.
Tips for Bridal Looks
-During the wedding occasions, remember to drink lots of water. Its important to stay hydrated for glowing skin throughout the wedding.
Performers and Performances:
We had flown down a saxophone player, Pavan Verma from London to play for our wedding. I absolutely love the saxophone and my husband loves watching live music. So after spending some time in searching for a decent Saxophone player that could play both English and Hindi songs, I finally found this gem in none other than my favourite city in the world, London. I had never heard him play live till my wedding, but after watching a couple of promo videos on YouTube and a meeting at Costa Coffee, we were sold. He was a true gentleman to work with, but moreover was an incredible artist. To hear a saxophone rendition of “Lean On” completely blew my mind at our Mehendi event.
No indian wedding can be complete without Dhol players, and we flew Dholtronics down from Singapore to jam at our wedding. They were nothing short of amazing, and they even have LED lights for the Dhol!!
Additionally we brought on board Flaming Trio, a special squad that was dedicated to the beverage service, entertaining and attracting the crowd to the bar by fire flair. Giving our guests an entertaining way of boozing.
Advice for to-be-weds on Wedding Planning:
Wedding planning is a once in a lifetime experience – it gives the engagement period some of its best moments as well as some of its toughest. It truly does test your relationship but once you get past it, there is much more to gain from the rewards as a married couple. There is never an end-point to “wedding planning” till the wedding itself is over – you can find yourself fine tuning down to the nth hour which is what makes it so nerve-racking. Therefore, it’s very important that you delegate the responsibilities atleast a good 2 weeks prior to the start of the functions, because time just flies past during the course of the events, and you need to be focusing on yourselves. After a certain point, there is not much you can do about what is going around, and you will never get these moments back, where you have BOTH your worlds under the same roof celebrating your love.
Photography/Videography: Picture Perfect India
Wedding Planner: Rimjhim Bhagchandani from Rimjhim Events, Dubai
Decorators: Flower Boutique UAE
Make-up Artist/Hair Stylist: Tamanna Roashan from Dress Your Face
Bartenders: Flaming Trios
DJ’s: DJ Tushar (Dubai) and DJ Boss (Singapore)
Venue: The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal
Outfits: Bhajans: Bride – Elan | Mehendi: Bride – Falguni & Shane Peacock | Welcome Dinner: Groom – Anup Bhargava, Bride – Shivani Awasty | Rave Afterparty: Bride – Koesch & Topshop (shorts) | Ghari Pooja: Bride – Met Mulchandani | Sangeet: Groom – Shringaar (Shakeel), Bride – Sonia Sawney | Pheras: Groom – Shringaar (Shakeel), Bride – Sonia Sawney | Reception: Groom – Bobbys Fashions, Bride – Shivani Awasty